A perfect matcha

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Hello!

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I made a green thing! It’s been awhile but I LOVE matcha, so I’m really overdue. This was DELICIOUS – we ate all but 1/4 of it in two sittings, haha! To be fair, we hiked this morning so it was part of a well-earned post-hike brunch. Also eggs. Also kale!! Of course. I know, you’re shocked. It was a beautiful (if a bit hot, and very windy) day – the air was so clear.

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I highly recommend this dessert if you love matcha – it’s very matcha-forward in the best way. I love matcha and chocolate together; they’re a matcha made in heaven! HAHAH see what I did there, I crack myself up. It’s also light, and makes for both a great dessert and awesome breakfast.

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It’s October already! Can someone explain that? Jeez, September went fast. I did go to Disneyland though, that was fun! It’s only been about a decade since I was there last. While there, I had ice cream for lunch (more green things), which was really an inspired lunch choice, I must say.

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Anyway – this matcha panna cotta tart is grain free, gluten free, refined sugar free! It can be dairy free too, if you swap out the greek yogurt for something nondairy. Easy to put together and requires only about 15 minutes of oven time, which is alway a bonus.

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Happy fall!

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Matcha Panna Cotta Tart

For those who love matcha! This is not for the faint of matcha hearted – we both loved it. The earthiness of the matcha plays really well against the cacao crust. Grain and gluten free, refined sugar free. Dairy free option – swap out the greek yogurt for something nondairy (coconut greek would work well here). Yield: 1 9″ tart, serves 2 very hungry humans over two sittings or 6-8 normal humans ;)

For the crust:

1 c almond flour
3/4 finely ground walnuts (blitz them in the food processor)
1/3 c unsweetened cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
1/4 c unsweetened shredded coconut
heaping 1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
4 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/4 c dark chocolate, melted

In a large bowl, stir together almond flour, walnut meal, cacao powder, coconut, sea salt, and baking soda. Add in vanilla, maple, and melted coconut oil and stir until completely combined. The dough will look crumbly, but you’ll be able to press it together with your fingers.

Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease a pie plate with coconut oil. Press the crust into the plate and up the sides with a spoon or your fingers, creating a smooth edge (or not, your call!). Poke the bottom with a fork a few times, and bake for 15 minutes.
Remove and let cool completely.

With a pastry brush or a spoon, coat the bottom the crust with an even layer of melted chocolate. Refrigerate until chocolate sets, about 10 minutes.

Panna Cotta:
1 package unflavored powdered gelatin
1.5 cup full-fat coconut milk, divided
1 tbsp vanilla
1/4 cup maple
Scant 1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp matcha powder
1/2 cup plain greek whole-milk yogurt
more melted chocolate, for drizzling (just a few tbsp needed – use more for serving if desired)

In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 1/4 cup of the coconut milk. Let stand without stirring until the gelatin is moistened, about 10 minutes.

Pour the remaining 1.25 cups of coconut milk into a small saucepan. Add vanilla, maple, salt, and matcha powder into it. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring consistently. Remove from the heat. Add the gelatin mixture and stir until completely dissolved, about 3 minutes. Cool until lukewarm, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the yogurt until well blended. Pour the panna cotta mixture into the cooled tart shell. Drop melted chocolate onto the surface of the tart and swirl with a knife or a toothpick. Place in the refrigerator until set, approximately 4 hours.

Store in the fridge – keeps well overnight for breakfast the next morning :)

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Let’s get crisp-y

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Happy Pride! It is hard to believe we are this far into June – I’m excited, since the stone fruit season is starting to really get going, and berries are lovely right now.

This week was eventful – I gave myself a black eye with a 900 page paperback (sci-fi of course) when I accidentally (duh) dropped it on my face… such a raging Friday night! I wasn’t even asleep, it just slipped out of my hand & got me. Rude! Sometimes I impress even myself. Photo evidence, just in case you needed proof:

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Anyway, enough of my raging & back to the fruit at hand: I also love rhubarb – though I typically think of it more as a late spring thing than summer. This will probably be the last rhubarb thing on here – it gets harder to find, and I really want to play with all the stone fruit anyway!

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The California summer is definitely in full swing: the hills have gone that golden shade that is so pretty against the dark oaks and blue sky. I could do without the hot weather but… at least I have access to a very cold pool! You will find me there more than frequently ;)

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Super fun weekend over here – time with fave human, dessert, urban hikes, etc etc – a few pictures below.

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This crisp is for those who LOVE rhubarb – it’s very rhubarb-forward! We both love the tart awesomeness of it, but I know it’s not everyone’s jam. Lavender was an interesting addition – I don’t use it all that frequently in baking (I find it can get a little… soapy, sometimes) but it adds a nice floral note here, which pairs especially nicely with ice cream…

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Of course, it’s us – this got eaten for dessert and then alongside the usual breakfast. No regrets! We were both starving anyway after having woken ourselves up by walking up some hills on a nice little shorty hike.

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I hope everyone out there in my corner of the internet is enjoying their weekends! Happy baking, if indeed you do some :)

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Rhubarb, Blackberry and Lavender Almond Crisp

For those who LOVE rhubarb! This one is right in your face. Lightly sweet but seriously tart; lightly floral from the lavender and perfect with ice cream for a summer dessert or on it’s own for breakfast. A Wait are Those Cookies original! Yield: 1 crisp – I use an 8 by 8 dish that holds two quarts; you can also use a 9″ deep pie dish. Just make sure there is ample room for fruit! Serves: 2, or several… you decide!

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For the filling:

3 c rhubarb, chopped*
1 c raspberries*
1 c blackberries*
1 tsp lavender buds
1/4 c maple syrup
¼ cup water (I used 1/8 c port & 1/8 c water)
2 teaspoons arrowroot starch

*I just approximate; I use however many it takes to fill my 2 quart, 8×8 baking dish
*I baked straight from frozen; fresh would also be fine

For the crisp:

1 cup old-fashioned oats (use certified gluten-free oats for a gluten-free crisp)
½ cup firmly packed almond meal
½ cup chopped almonds
1/4 c unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 c maple (or coconut) sugar
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup plain whole milk Greek yogurt

Preheat the oven to 350.
Toss chopped rhubarb, raspberries and lavender into your baking dish of choice (my dish is 8×8, 2 qt capacity; 9″ square or 9″ deep pie dish would also be fine). In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together the maple and water/port until combined. Add the arrowroot, and whisk to combine. Pour the mixture over the fruit and toss to combine. Bake for 20 minutes.

While the filling is baking, make the crisp. In a mixing bowl, stir together the oats, almond meal, chopped almonds, shredded coconut, maple sugar and salt. Mix in the vanilla, melted butter and the yogurt. Stir until everything is mixed thoroughly.

Once the filling has baked for 20 minutes, stir it and and redistribute evenly in the dish. Plop spoonfuls of the crisp topping evenly over the filling – no need to pack it down. Return the dish to the oven and bake for 25 to 30 more minutes, until the filling is bubbling around the edges and the top is golden.
Let the crisp rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream, obviously! Keep leftovers, covered, in the fridge for about five days (yeah right. It would take some kind of major feat to make it last that long)

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Can’t stop, won’t stop with the citrus!

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Can you tell we love citrus over here? I think the last… 3? or 5? (I think it’s five…) desserts have featured those beautiful hued little guys…

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I’d have to say it’s a three-way tie for my favorite citrus between grapefruit, meyer lemon and blood oranges…luckily, this cake covers two out of three!

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Once again, it’s a dessert that easily does double duty for breakfast – just add some ice cream for dessert and you’re good to go. I love lemon curd on anything, so this is an easy sell for me. We loved it both ways – it’s almost scone-like when eaten alongside eggs & kale! (and coffee. let’s not leave that out)

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I’ve never used mace in my baking prior to this – apparently, it’s a relative of nutmeg, which I never knew. It plays really well against citrus, both grapefruit and meyer lemon, and adds a really interesting flavor profile. I love olive oil in cakes like this – it brings a rich fruitiness that isn’t otherwise found in butter or coconut oil.

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In other news, same ‘ol on the health issues front – I am still looking for answers and still frustrated. As I’ve said before, I try to keep it light in this space, but I have to admit this wasn’t a banner week for me. A little therapeutic baking and some quality time with fave human went a long way towards making the week seem not so overwhelming.

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Meyer lemons are perfect right now – and if anything is therapeutic, it is the scent of meyers! I love making curd with them – in fact, I had made and frozen a few batched not that long ago. Down to one now… which will probably get consumed next week, knowing how we roll around here.

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Happy almost-April! Go make yourself some citrusy goodness.

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Grapefruit Polenta Cake with Meyer Lemon Curd

Gluten free and refined sugar free. Light, springtime dessert – or breakfast – this cake is fruity from the olive oil and grapefruit, and goes perfectly alongside a huge dollop of lemon curd or some ice cream, or better yet, both. We loved it both for dessert and breakfast – it’s almost reminiscent of a scone, so works well alongside eggs and kale. Yield: 1 9″ cake, serves 2-8. Cake adapted from Saveur magazine, here. Be careful with the bake time on this one – I was going by the recipe and it ended up slightly on the dry side b/c I didn’t pull it soon enough. I updated my bake times below to reflect that – otherwise, the flavor is stellar! And a large drizzle of lemon curd solves the dryness issue just fine ;)

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For the curd – my favorite recipe to date:

2 whole eggs
3 egg yolks
1/3 c meyer lemon juice
zest of 4 meyer lemons
pinch of sea salt
2.5 tbsp maple syrup
3.5 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla

I used a double boiler for this lemon curd, which literally is a game changer. Highly recommended! Heat water in the bottom of the double boiler until it’s at a high simmer. In the top of the double boiler, whisk together eggs, egg yolks, lemon zest and juice, sea salt, and maple syrup. Add in the butter one tbsp at a time, whisking continuously, not adding the next tbsp until the first is completely melted. Whisk in vanilla. Cook, stirring constantly, until the lemon curd thickens and coats the back of a spoon (or your whisk leaves tracks) – usually around 5 to 8 minutes. It’s a noticeable change when it happens, so just watch the cooking magic! Remove from heat and store in a glass container in the fridge until ready for use.

For the cake:

scant 1/4 c maple syrup
1/4 c grapefruit juice
zest of 2 grapefruits
2⁄3 cup full-fat plain Greek yogurt
1⁄3 cup olive oil
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2⁄3 cup brown rice flour
1⁄3 cup almond flour
1⁄3 cup coarsely ground yellow cornmeal, preferably Bob’s Red Mill
3 tbsp arrowroot starch
3 tbsp. tapioca starch
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground mace
1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt
1⁄4 cup sliced almonds

Preheat the oven to 350, and either use an 8″ springform pan OR do like I did and use a 9″ cake pan, well greased and lined with two thick strips of parchment paper so that you can lift the cake out onto a cooling rack easily.

Whisk maple, zest and juices, plus yogurt, oil, and egg in a bowl until combined. In a separate bowl, whisk rice and almond flours, cornmeal, arrowroot and tapioca starches, baking powder, mace, and salt until combined; make a well in the center. Whisk in yogurt mixture until a smooth batter forms. Pour into prepared pan and sprinkle with sliced almonds. Bake until cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 30-40 minutes. Let cool for at least 10 minutes, then lift out onto a cooling rack to cool completely, removing parchment from underneath if you used it. Let cool completely before serving.

Store any leftovers covered on the counter – this is a cake that dries out quickly, so I’d recommend eating it within a day or two of baking.

Serve with meyer lemon curd, more sliced grapefruit & ice cream for dessert, or just with lemon curd for breakfast!

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An entirely a-peel-ing banana cake

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Hello hello!

I have cake for you today.

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Actually, this is well timed since that holiday of all Hallmark holidays is coming up next Wednesday; since it’s inexplicably tied to chocolate – here you go! This one is dense, dark and exceptionally chocolatey without being overbearing, and the banana flavor comes through nicely so it ends up being a hybrid somewhere between chocolate cake and banana bread. Nothing wrong with that in my book.

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Besides that, somehow I’d forgotten how much I love walnuts and dark chocolate together – and I’m of the opinion that ginger should almost always hang out with chocolate, so that’s a no brainer.

Also – rioting, demanding bananas:

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This cake was loved by both of us – it’s excellent with ice cream for desserty shenanigans and while a little heavy for a big breakfast slice alongside eggs and kale, little wedges are definitely doable ;) a little chocolate in the morning alongside coffee never comes amiss.

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In other news, my plants are happy to be getting more sunshine these days, though I have to say I’d prefer a bit more winter before we do spring, please.

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So! Make cake, eat with loved ones, be happy. Especially because it’s gluten free, refined sugar free and high in protein, healthy fats, and antioxidants. It’s really a health food in disguise…

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Dark Chocolate Banana Cake with Olive Oil, Ginger & Walnuts

Gluten free, refined sugar free – dark chocolatey banana cake with hits of ginger and chunky walnuts. Not too sweet but a hefty chocolate dose – the olive oil and sea salt temper the natural banana sweetness for a step up from your typical banana bread. Besides, I forgot how much I loved walnuts and chocolate together! Yield: 1 9″ or 10″ cake depending on pan of choice (see below). Heavily adapted from Food52, here.

1c almond flour
1/2 brown rice flour
1/2 c cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/3 c olive oil
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 c maple syrup
1.5 c ripe bananas (from about 3 large bananas), mashed with a fork until smooth
1/4 c plain whole milk Greek yogurt
1.5 tps vanilla extract
1/3 cup coarsely chopped dark chocolate
1/2 cup (65g) chopped walnuts
1/4 c chopped crystallized ginger

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Generously butter or grease a 9″ cake pan (or a 10-inch cast-iron skillet, or a 9×5-inch loaf pan) – I used a 9″ metal cake pan and it worked just fine.

In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, brown rice flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together the olive oil, eggs, maple, mashed banana, yogurt, and vanilla. Pour the banana mixture into the flour mixture and fold with a spatula until just combined. Stir in the chocolate, walnuts and ginger again just until combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan or skillet.

Bake until a toothpick or knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 28 to 35 minutes (start checking at about 22 minutes for doneness – thinner pans will be done faster. If you used a loaf pan, baking time will be more like 60 minutes). Let cool in the pan for about 10 to 15 minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the pan and invert it onto a cooling rack to cool completely before serving. I like it cold too, straight out of the fridge, but you do you. Also excellent with ice cream, obviously. Keeps well covered in the fridge if you can make it last longer than a day ;)

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Vegetables for dessert? Sure, why not.

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Happy 2018! I hope your new year got off to a good start – mine certainly did, absolutely no complaints over here!

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I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of using a squash other than pumpkin in a dessert.

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Don’t be deceived by the cute little dumpling squash hanging out in these pictures – what really went in here is kabocha, one of these guys:

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I like the kabocha here – if you’ve never encountered one, they’re a bit of a cross between pumpkin and butternut squash. I really like it for the earthiness it brings here, which plays nicely against the apples. Side note: after some thought, we gave it mixed reviews – it feels a little vegetabley to be dessert – I almost wonder if it would work as a side dish. That being said, if you like not too sweet things / vegetables, go for it!

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Besides, this is my absolute favorite crisp topping – it has a little extra protein from greek yogurt and almond flour, and is just so fun to eat. It stays crispy even after hanging out in the fridge overnight, which makes this excellent breakfast (see exhibit A).

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I also love it for dessert with ice cream (obviously) – the crisp ends up covered in melty ice cream, making it into slightly indulgent granola/muesli.

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In other news, I’ve been museuming and drawing again, which feels great. I let it lag a little too long I think!

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Of course coffee.

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Here’s hoping you’re enjoying the beginning of the new year! I have good feelings for this one. If you’re in the mood for a lightly sweet, perfectly healthy desserty-breakfast, I’ve got you covered! Happy baking :)

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Kabocha Squash and Apple Walnut Crisp

Gluten free, refined sugar free, and whole grain. Full of healthy fats AND fruits & veggies! Feel free to eat this as breakfast, I certainly did. Side note: we gave it mixed reviews – it feels a little vegetabley to be dessert – I almost wonder if it would work as a side dish. That being said, if you like not too sweet things / vegetables, go for it! Adapted from the Raz-Apple crisp I made around Thanksgiving, here. Yield: 1 2-quart baking dish (it’s about 8 by 8 and deep). Serves: 2 for dessert & then breakfast! Or… you know, a normal amount of people.

For the filling:

2-3 largish Granny Smith apples, cored and sliced into thin wedges*
1 small kabocha squash, peeled & cubed*
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 c port**
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons arrowroot starch
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground allspice

*I just approximate as I slice; I use however many it takes to fill my 2 quart, 8×8 baking dish; for ease of cutting kabocha squash, I recommend slicing it in half, then in wedges and using a knife to carefully peel it. The peel is totally edible, but I didn’t want its texture in the crisp. You’ll still get an arm workout peeling these babies, believe me!

**the port is optional but amazing; if you don’t use it, use 1/4c water instead

For the crisp:

1 cup old-fashioned oats (use certified gluten-free oats for a gluten-free crisp)
½ cup firmly packed almond flour
½ cup chopped walnuts
1/4 c unsweetened shredded coconut
2 tbsp maple sugar
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup plain whole milk Greek yogurt

Preheat the oven to 350.
In a veggie steamer (I use a metal steamer inside a pot), steam the kabocha squash for 10-15 minutes, until just barely fork tender.

Slice apples into a deep baking dish, and add steamed kabocha squash (my dish is 8×8, 2 qt capacity; 9″ square or 9″ deep pie dish would also be fine). In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together the maple and water/port until combined. Add the lemon juice, arrowroot, cinnamon and allspice, and whisk to combine. Pour the mixture over the squash and apples and toss to combine. Bake for 15 minutes.

While the filling is baking, make the crisp. In a mixing bowl, stir together the oats, almond meal, walnuts, shredded coconut, maple sugar and salt. Mix in the vanilla, melted butter and the yogurt. Stir until everything is mixed thoroughly.

Once the filling has baked for 15 minutes, stir to redistribute it evenly in the dish. Plop spoonfuls of the crisp topping evenly over the filling – no need to pack it down. Return the dish to the oven and bake for 25 to 30 more minutes, until the filling is bubbling around the edges and the top is golden.

Let the crisp rest at least 5 to 10 minutes before serving; or do like I did and make it earlier in the day, and have it later. Serve with vanilla ice cream, obviously! Keep leftovers, covered, in the fridge for about three days (yeah right. It would take some kind of major feat to make it last that long; ours was gone in just over 1!) Serve cold alongside breakfast because it’s extra awesome that way.

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